Barako coffee, also known as Kapeng Barako, is a unique and distinctive coffee variety that belongs to the Liberica species, specifically Liberica var. Dewevrei Barako. This coffee variety is primarily grown in the Philippines, particularly in the Batangas region.
Here is some information about Barako coffee:
Origin: Barako coffee has a rich history in the Philippines, dating back to the 18th century when it was introduced by Spanish colonizers. The name “Barako” is derived from the Tagalog word for a strong male stud or bull, emphasizing the coffee’s robust and strong flavor.
Liberica Variety: Barako coffee is a sub-variety of Liberica coffee (Coffea liberica var. dewevrei). Liberica coffee is known for its large beans and bold, earthy flavor profile, which distinguishes it from the more common Arabica and Robusta coffee varieties.
Flavor Profile: Barako coffee is renowned for its strong, bold, and distinctive flavor. It typically exhibits robust, earthy, and woody notes with hints of dark chocolate and tobacco. Some variations of Barako coffee may have subtle fruity or nutty undertones, but the dominant characteristic is its strength and boldness.
Growing Conditions: Barako coffee thrives in the tropical climate of the Philippines, particularly in the Batangas region, where it is traditionally cultivated. The rich volcanic soil and high-altitude areas contribute to its unique flavor profile.
Processing Methods: The traditional processing method for Barako coffee involves sun-drying the beans, which can enhance its strong and robust flavors. The beans are often harvested manually and naturally dried under the sun, contributing to the coffee’s distinctive taste.
Cultural Significance: Barako coffee holds cultural significance in the Philippines and is considered a symbol of Filipino identity. It has been a part of local traditions and gatherings for generations. It is often served in social gatherings and celebrations.
Availability: While Barako coffee is highly regarded and appreciated in the Philippines, it is less well-known internationally. It is not as widely produced or exported as Arabica or Robusta coffee, and its availability outside the Philippines can be limited.
Challenges: Despite its unique flavor and cultural importance, Barako coffee faces challenges such as lower yields compared to other coffee varieties and susceptibility to coffee diseases. Efforts are being made to promote and preserve the cultivation of Barako coffee in the Philippines.
Brewing Methods: Barako coffee is traditionally brewed using methods like the “pour-over” or “drip” method. It is often prepared as a strong and concentrated brew, and it can be enjoyed black or with sugar and condensed milk, similar to the traditional Filipino coffee known as “kape tayo.”
In summary, Barako coffee, or Kapeng Barako, is a unique and robust coffee variety that is deeply rooted in Filipino culture and history. Its strong and bold flavor profile, along with its association with local traditions, makes it a cherished and distinctive coffee choice for those who appreciate its unique characteristics.